Public-private initiatives have emerged as one of the most promising ways for oil and gas companies to develop and to contribute to sustainable development, especially when establishing operations in developing areas.
The oil and gas industry recognizes that companies can better achieve sustainable development goals by working in partnership with others. Companies are collaborating increasingly with a range of partners including other business entities, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academic research institutes. Each partnership is unique and is shaped on the needs and demands of its stakeholders. There are common benefits from partnerships, such as:
- Stepping more safely into the field of sustainable development
- Delivering higher quality project outcomes
- Promoting long-term sustainability of projects
- Facilitating development and growth of projects
- Improving stakeholder engagement
- Creating open communication channels with local communities
- Contributing to local economic development of host communities
- Contributing to wider regional or global sustainable development efforts
However, it is important to recognize that partnerships are not always the right answer and that there may be a need to build trust and better relationships before moving to partnership. Through consultation across its membership, IPIECA outlined a number of tips to assist organizations in effective partnering at different stages of the partnering lifecycle.
The 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development marked an increase in the number of partnerships targeting sustainable development goals. Partnerships have since been highlighted as an important cross-cutting theme and enabling mechanism.
IPIECA established a Partnership Task Force with the purpose of compiling a number of case studies on multi-stakeholder partnerships in the oil and gas industry.
The IPIECA publication, Partnerships in the oil and gas industry communicates how the oil and gas industry is using partnerships to respond to challenges of meeting global energy demand and to contribute to sustainable development. The publication explores the partnering process through challenges and lessons learned identified by IPIECA members and their partners in the forty case studies featured.
In addition, IPIECA is involved and actively engaged in a number of initiatives.
- The Global Initiative – Since the launch of the partnership in Africa in 1995, 16 African countries have ratified the International Convention on Oil Pollution Preparedness, Response and Co-operation (OPRC) convention. The International Maritime Organization (IMO)/IPIECA Global Initiative is an umbrella programme under which the partners bring together relevant national/regional actors from both government and industry to develop and implement sustainable oil spill contingency plans and promote the ratification of oil spill-related international conventions.
- Partnership for Clean Fuel and Vehicles (PCFV) – In December 2005, the PCFV celebrated lead phase out in sub-Saharan Africa. This was a goal jointly set in 2001 by the partners (government, automotive industry and the oil and gas sectors represented by IPIECA) and jointly achieved through partnership, in recognition that no one sector could individually bring about cleaner fuels in developing countries. UNEP support was instrumental to the success of this partnership.
- The Voluntary Principles for Security and Human Rights (VPSHR) – The VPSHR partnership has enabled government, industry and non-governmental organization partners, sometimes in opposition to one another, to identify common interest and work together constructively to address security and human rights concerns. Levels of trust between partners have improved over the past five years and work continues to support companies in implementing the principles.
In the development of Partnerships for the oil and gas industry, IPIECA gathered a number of case studies illustrating challenges and lessons learned by IPIECA members and their partners. To see these case studies please visit the dedicated case study page.